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Strain review: Grape Pie 

click to enlarge A little clarity, some comfort, the end. - BRANDON SODERBERG
  • Brandon Soderberg
  • A little clarity, some comfort, the end.

What we talk about when we talk about weed is often, well, weed and nothing but weed. Smoking up with folks makes you wanna discuss the thing that’s happening rather than how it makes you see or feel what’s happening around you. And because weed is still fairly taboo, especially when you’re first starting to smoke as a teenager, circumstances train you to smoke weed and talk about weed because you’re often doing it in secret or with a group of people with whom the only thing you really have in common is “also wants to get blazoney stoned.” The weed itself is an easy conversation starter.

A nice byproduct of this: For a couple hours it’s as if every smoker no matter their background is a lil’ John Berger, the admirable, thought-too-hard art critic who has among many stoned-ish books, one titled Why Look at Animals? Then you grow up, realize that a lot of weed culture is tedious tradition and ingrained nonsense, and begin to keep the thoughts about weed in your head instead because they do not ever go away. The desire to look behind the curtain, pull the mask off and see the face of the face — Yul Brynner Westworld-style — sticks around.

Not too many strains I’ve encountered fully transcend the meta-conversation or meta-internal monologue that rises up around weed the way Grape Pie does. Even the very basic information about Grape Pie resists easy explanation. Forget about grape when it comes to flavor because here it is smoky mezcal mixed with Grape Bubblicious that the more you smoke, drops down a few notes to child’s cough-and-cold medicine, red wine, and finally, stinking pepper. And Grape Pie is less complex than it might seem. A hybrid of Cherry Pie (itself a hybrid of Granddaddy Purple and Durban Poison with a singular and a little scary high then not-so-high tautology to it) and Grape Stomper (a hybrid of Purple Elephant and Chemdawg Sour Diesel that is a resolute pain reliever that elicits a little bit of wonder), Grape Pie’s high is not leaden and muddled like many hybrids-of-hybrids.

Instead, it’s a body high that’s everywhere at the same time (sometimes relief pools in your joints and then seems to eddy) with a mind high that’s like you got a good night’s sleep for once and caught up on doing the laundry and did your taxes. Square type shit. Anxiety rolls right off and you’re energized — like you had a matcha shot — but stop short of deep self-reflection. It is a high on cruise control. The word “effortless” keeps coming to mind with Grape Pie. A little clarity, some comfort, the end. In that sense, it may be a bit too simple for some, like a high designed by professionals using T-squares or something, satisfying with all the right elements there for sure, but disappointing somehow. It doesn’t leave you thinking about being high — or much of anything else really.

Strength: 7
Nose: Mezcal and Grape Bubblicious
Euphoria: 7
Existential dread: 2
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 2
Drink pairing: Manischewitz
Music pairing: John Coltrane, Olé Coltrane
Rating: 8

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